It’s that time of year again for ghosts and ghouls to roam the streets (which you shouldn’t be doing this year) and for us to get reacquainted with some old friends like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, and Michael Myers! There are no shortage of movies we could be talking about starring these icons of horror, but we’re going to take things in a slightly different direction here and familiarize ourselves with the oft overlooked subgenre of horror comics! All three of these characters have had their share of funny books based off their exploits, so why not find out which one has the best stories to tell and are the most fun to read? And no, we won’t be going into the Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash comics as they are their own separate thing from either franchise’s main books. Next year perhaps!? Well let’s get through this first before we start planning ahead!
In Last Place for Bad Taste – Friday The 13th
Starting this list with the most heartbreaking of them all, my beloved Jason Voorhees has had undoubtedly the WORST comics on this list. Why? Well with this series you basically get two kinds of stories; blatantly fetishistic gore porn and philosophical musings from pompous edge lords. It’s a blatantly cynical misunderstanding of the character and the franchise as the stories seem to think that Jason is supposed to be the protagonist. You may have goes to the movie to SEE Jason Voorhees, but the stars of those movies were Alice Hardy, Tommy Jarvis, Tina Shepard, and so on. For almost every single one of these books there’s hardly a character worth rooting for or a victim who’s death is anything short of gleefully excessive because the writers want you to side with Jason as some sort of agent of chaos here to destroy THE MAN. Corrupt cops, evil corporations, and at its absolute most revolting point gay people, are all lined up for Jason to take his brutal bloody revenge out on to the cheers of the audience; either because you WANT those people to die or because your tickled by the rendering of blood and viscera on the page. The tackiest ones are where they try to justify their wanton bloodlust and by making Jason some sort of avenging spirit of Native American Genocide, like the supped up version of prefacing all MRA bullshit with WHITE women to try and pretend you’re not just an angry at all women, and this is something they try TWICE; once in the 2008 series and again in the Bad Land 2 parter. Out of all of these books, the only three that stand out as anything other than dreck are Jason Goes to Hell, Jason Vs. Leatherface, and Pamela’s Tale. Jason Vs. Leatherface is bad for a lot of the same reasons as the other books are BUT it has enough tongue in cheek humor to dull its more obnoxious moments, and the artwork has a grotesque EC Comics by way of Alfred E Newman look that lightens the mood considerably. Pamela’s Tale, while rather unnecessary as it’s just a prequel that doesn’t do all that much interesting with the characters, at least is driven by something other than gore and titillation as we see how she came to have Jason and how she ended up working at the camp. It’s far too happy to throw out allusions to future aspects of the franchise when it could have done its own thing, but I found it an entertaining enough read and one that didn’t make me repeatedly wince like so many of the other books. Jason Goes to Hell is the definite standout as it’s just a retelling of the ninth movie, but that film is pretty underrated as is and I think the more fantastical elements are better suited for a comic book; not to mention that the script for that movie is FAR superior to the original scripts they wrote for the other comic books as it focuses on characters instead of just watching a lumbering monster be directed at whatever gripes the writer has with the world. Aside from those three there’s not really anything to recommend as even the ones that pull back on the overt gore have garbage themes and characters, so I’d avoid almost every single one of these like the plague.
The Good: Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993); Friday the 13th: Pamela’s Tale (2007)
The Meh: Jason Vs. Leatherface (1995)
The Ugly: Friday the 13th: Bloodbath (2005), Friday the 13th Special (2005); Jason X Special (2005); Jason Vs. Jason X (2006); Friday the 13th: Fearbook (2006); Friday the 13th: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2007); Friday the 13th (2007); Friday the 13th: Bad Land (2008); Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused (2008)
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and all the images you see in this review are owned by Amazon Studios
Directed by Jason Woliner
Remember when Borat was a thing? I mean EVERYTHING feels longer ago these days, but that movie was a genuine phenomenon for a while there and launched Sacha Baron Cohen into stardom. Fourteen years later, he finally returns to the character and gives us the sequel that… well we REALLY haven’t been waiting for since Bruno was kind of the sequel already, but perhaps the sequel that we NEED right now considering everything that’s going on in the world. Will this movie be VERY NICE like the first one, or will it get old faster than when everyone was doing Borat impressions? Let’s find out!!
Fourteen years after the first film came out, we find Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) imprisoned in his country of Kazakhstan for bringing shame and ridicule to its people after being part of such a silly movie. His chance at redemption comes however when the Kazakhstani government decides to send a gift to the Great Leader Donald Trump and gives Borat the opportunity to deliver it to his best buddy Michael Pence while recording his journey. With his gray suit, well-trimmed mustache, and a heart full of dreams, he heads to America to await the President’s gift and then deliver it to DC. However, things go awry when the box arrives and inside he finds NOT Kazakhastan’s prized monkey named Johnny to gift to The Donald, but instead his daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) and a bunch of monkey bones. It seems that she wanted to join him on his journey and also got very hungry during the trip, so now Borat must find some other way to appease the Orange Leader. Upon realizing that the Cheeto in Chief likes young women, he decides to clean Tutar up and give her as a gift so she can become a princess like Melania Trump which Tutar is all for considering the alternative is to live her life in a cage; as is the Kazakhstani custom for women who are not married yet, and at fifteen years old she’s already over the hill! Will Borat make good on his promise to deliver his daughter to Mike Pence so his country can finally stop being the laughingstock of the world? What will Tutar learn about herself now that she’s in the land of the free and the home of the Whopper? Just how many douchebags did he beat off with a stick to get the shots he needed!?
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
Another week has passed which means another week of wrestling action from everyone’s favorite cool alternative brand! AEW has their Full Gear PPV coming up so the next few weeks will be all about building up matches and story lines for the big event, and with a tournament for the number one contender’s spot as well as four way match to challenge the AEW Tag Team Champions, will they have the momentum they need to make their PPV another success while giving us a great episode of Dynamite in the process? Let’s find out!!
Wardlow Vs. Jungle Boy – AEW World Title Tournament
Jungle Boy is accompanied to the ring by Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt
This is a very traditional and very basic Face/Heel match which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Jungle Boy has to put in five hundred percent to gain any momentum and Wardlow’s sheer size is enough for him to overcome whatever offense Jungle Boy brings to the match. You’ve got your hope spots, your heat segments, a few Suicide Dives, it’s not exactly the Shakespeare of matches, but it’s a good opening bout that’s got its fair share of fun spots. For all the momentum that Jungle Boy has in the latter half of the match though (built off the back of an impressive Hurricanrana from the top rope), he just doesn’t have enough to put Wardlow away and after eating two F10s from the man finally stays down for the three count. We’ve got a BIG show ahead of us tonight, so I don’t have a problem with this first match not overstaying its welcome, though I thought it would have been nice if Jungle Boy got to the next round.
It’s been quiet the wild ride, but it’s time for us to say goodbye to this smartly written, wackily executed, and strangely put together show. The final episode is upon us and with so much at stake for our heroes, will they manage to survive whatever challenge they face, or will this tangled web of ideas and plot threads fail to come together in a satisfying way? There’s only one way to find out, so let’s get started!!
With this being the final episode (no word yet on if this well get a second season), there’s not as much to build up and discuss as there are things to pay off and bring to a conclusion, so for this I’m going to change up the style a bit and tell you right now what I think. I’m… conflicted. Bold statement, I know, but as much as I’ve struggled to get on the same wavelength of this show in some of the previous episodes, I just feel like I’m too far out of the loop for it to work for me. How much of it is my whiteness and privilege butting up against a series primarily created and aimed at a different audience with its own perspective? How much of it is the show’s already troubled pacing and narrative coming to a head as it tries to tie everything up? Is it just a disappointing ending or one that’s SUPPOSED to leave me feeling empty and tired? I’m not sure the answer to any of those questions, but the bottom line is that from my point of view the show doesn’t end on a bang but on a squib as things definitely DO happen that wrap up the story but none of it feels particularly cathartic and it’s all muddled with the show still trying to explain itself up until the last minute. I’d be hard pressed to say if I’d be any more confused watching this episode if I HADN’T closely watched the previous ones leading up to this point because it’s lore has been a tangled mess from the beginning with the whole Sons of Adam thing being its biggest bugbear, and there’s nothing else the show has left to do but try and wrangle all of that into something watchable. Giving it as much benefit of the doubt as I can, I understand the EMOTIONAL beats of the episode, the importance of a lot of its decisions, and how it could definitely work for someone else, but for me I found the mechanics of it all poorly explained, the lessons to be somewhat suspect, and the ending particularly dour in a way that the rest of the show really hasn’t been even at its. It’s not the note that I personally would have wanted it to go out on, but perhaps what I would have wanted would have missed the point entirely.
We’re back with more Lovecraft Country intrigue, and it has certainly been an interesting journey hasn’t it? We’ve had great episodes, bad episodes, and all the tones that you can possibly imagine somehow crammed into this very strange tale of magic and horror wrapped in the not so strange but still horrifying exploration of racial issues in this country! With only two episodes to go are we heading towards a climactic conclusion that will make it worth whatever stumbling we went through getting to this point, or should we expect more of the same issues that have plagued this series for some time now? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Diana (Jada Harris) in a near comatose state as all the adults in her life (at least the ones that are still around) start yelling at each other about how this could have happened in the first place. Frankly I’m not sure what they’re fighting about as ALL of them are terrible guardians with Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis) having disappeared, but the more interesting revelation here is that the Evil Twins from the last episode didn’t want to kill Diana with their razor sharp nails; they just wanted to… poison her with a magic disease or something? In any case, Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku), being the only one with any idea of what to do, calls Christina (Abbey Lee) to try and make heads or tails of this, and while she DOES have some good news, it’s mostly bad. She can reset curse essentially; giving Diana more time before it overtakes her, but to remove the spell completely will require The Book of Names, and we learned that it was burned during the Tulsa massacre of 1921, so there’s not much hope. Still, Christina agrees to do the reset on the condition that Atticus (Jonathan Majors) joins her in Ardham on the night of the Autumnal Equinox. They’ve mentioned this whole Equinox things a few time and I still don’t have a clear explanation on what it is, why it’s so important, and why Christina wants to do some sort of immortality spell on that night (especially since her dad EXPLODED when he tried it back in episode 2), but Atticus agrees so I guess that’s what the tenth and final episode will all be about. They all start putting up transmutation circles all over the place while Christina goes to run an “errand of some sort” which his actually just her transforming into William (Jordan Patrick Smith) and gloating about Captain Lancaster’s untimely demise in front of him. No, William doesn’t go to a grave, apparently the cops are trying to Frankenstein their way out of this little fiasco, but they aren’t having any luck and Christina gets a front row view of this jerk bag breathing his last breath. Couldn’t happen to a nice guy in my opinion, but he may end up getting the last laugh if they aren’t able to stop his curse from killing Diana.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
Did you know the PPV is less than a month away!? Doesn’t it feel like we JUST got done with a PPV a month ago? Oh who even knows anymore; it’s not like time MEANS anything at this point. We’re all just barreling through this ridiculous world at ten billion miles per hour, and hey if nothing else, since it’s happening the Saturday after the election (PLEASE GO VOTE!!) it’ll be either a nice treat for a world that just saved itself from the brink of destruction or it’ll be the last spot of joy before this country inevitably crumbles into a fascist dictatorship. In any case, I hope that Will Hobbs gets a title shot on that show! Before we look towards the future however, let’s keep our eyes squarely on the present and take a look at this show right now. Will this episode start building up to the PPV in fun and exciting ways, or do they need a bit more time to get everything into place? Let’s find out!!
FTR Vs. Best Friends – AEW Tag Team Title Match
FTR is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard
Look, we know that both teams are good and that they can have great matches, so I don’t want to sound negative about this on the outset. It’s not a bad match, but BOY is it a non-descript one for what’s supposed to be a title defense! Trent is in command for a good chunk of this match before FTR get the upper hand and start generating heat for what feels like an hour before Trent eventually gets the hot tag on Chuck who goes wild for a bit. Things at least get a bit interesting there when Tully interferes and Chuck retaliates by chocking him with his own jacket, and there was a pretty impressive nearfall where Best Friends land a Soul Food on Cash to get a two count, but there’s just not a whole lot going on here. Aside from the nearfalls, the only move that really stuck out for me was when Cash dropped Trent’s leg onto the ring ropes which was an interesting visual, but Trent doesn’t sell the leg at any point in the match (he even uses the knees to counter a Vader Bomb), so what was the point of specifically targeting it? Speaking of nearfalls, FTR manages to regain the advantage and are getting the heat on Trent with a series of suplexes, but Trent won’t stay down for the three-count and tries to fight his way out of this rough spot. They eventually brawl to the outside where Kip Sabian is playing away on an arcade cabinet, and Cash throws Trent right through it; destroying it utterly and leaving Kip with nothing but a fight stick to entertain him. The match eventually returns to the ring and Trent manages to get the tag to Chuck, but it’s ultimately futile as Cash manages to smash Chuck in the face with the title belt while the ref was distracted which is enough for Dax to get the pin and retain their titles. Like I said, there wasn’t a whole lot going on with this match and the stuff at the end, while entertaining, wasn’t exactly the most THRILLING directions for a match to take and I’d honestly take the match they had last week with TH2 than this one.
Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Welcome back to even more Sonic goodness as we continue to get further and further away from the Zombot arc! The last issue had some great character moments and gave us a fascinating new setup with Sonic out of the picture and I REALLY want this series to explore that idea a little bit more and maybe give Sonic a bit of dimension as he realizes his heroism is a lot more reluctant than he thought now that he has time away from it! However, if the cover is anything to go by, it doesn’t look like this team of talented professionals will be taking the advice of one annoying critic on the internet and Sonic will be returning a lot sooner than I was hoping. Still, do they manage to make his return to Mobius (I’m gonna keep calling it that AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME!) interesting and compelling in its own right or are we simply sprinting as fast as we can back to the status quo? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with Eggman crashing the party; piloting a giant robot with Omega strapped to the front of it like Mad Max in Fury Road. I suppose it makes the robot stronger, but I thought the whole deal with Omega is that he WASN’T a particularly unique creation of the doctor and was just another drone who someone found a conscious. Okay, MAYBE not so much a conscious as a RAGING HATE ON for Eggman, but six of one half a dozen of the other, and the bigger point is that I figured he could just MAKE a better giant robot than trying to attach a smaller robot for the additional RAM. This is all needlessly nitpicky though and to the issue’s credit, it DOES do what I wanted this issue to do… sort of. We’ll get back to the SORT OF part of this, but a good chunk of this issue are about the heroes trying stop Eggman’s giant robot without the help of Sonic the Hedgehog. Oddly enough, the one who steps up to the plate is Vector, and I’ve got to ask again; ARE SEGA PLANNING ON DOING SOMETHING WITH THIS GUY!? Maybe it’s just me, but for the last year or so Vector has been getting a higher profile in the Sonic universe; and not just in the comics! That recent Team Sonic Racing game had him as the leader of one of the teams and he was certainly present in that Sonic Forces game, but then again it’s been going on for a while now and nothing BIG has happened yet. If we’re building up to something with this character like his own game or something, I think they need to just get it over with instead of keeping us guessing for the next three years.
We’re back with another episode of everyone’s favorite Monster Mash just in time for the Halloween season? Yes, I’m a bit late at putting this up as I’ve fallen behind on… well basically everything the last few weeks, but it was hopefully worth the wait as I have quite a bit to say about this particular episode! Is it an improvement over the last few episodes that didn’t quite capture the tone that this series works best at, or will this show continue to go all over the place until the very last minute and tries to cram everything into a satisfying conclusion for the final episode? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins on a very somber note as everyone in this Chicago community are marching to the funeral of a young man named Bobo was a character who showed up, albeit briefly, in previous episodes as a friend of Diana (Jada Harris), and as it turns out he is in fact supposed to be the real life Emmett Till; a fourteen year old boy in 1955 who was shot and then strung up around the neck with barb wire which was then tied to a cotton gin fan before being thrown in the river; shooting him, cutting him, choking him, and drowning him on the flimsiest excuse of him supposedly flirting with a white woman who later in life recanted the story which his killers presumably knew to be false at the time. I’m dubious about putting an actual historical figure and victim such as him in a big budgeted HBO fantasy series to make a point, but aside from that it’s a sobering introduction that definitely reflections the tension and shared trauma of the current state of police and white supremacist violence in this country; violence that was always there but has gotten much more of a spotlight in recent years. Diana is certainly having a hard time of recently, especially with the recent death of her father George Freeman (Courtney B Vance) and the disappearance of her mother Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis), and it’s just too much for her to take with grace and restraint, so she runs off and starts yelling at other kids who aren’t in mourning over the loss of a child to such senseless violence. As cathartic as this is for her, the good feeling ends up being quite fleeting as a cop car immediately pulls up behind her and she may end up being the next kid to have a funeral. It’s not just any cop however as it’s Captain Lancaster (Mac Brandt) who is the leader of The Sons of Adam in this area and he has a copy of the comic book that was found at the Time Machine at the end of the last episode with her name written on it. They interrogate her to try and figure out where her mother went, but when they don’t get the answers they want the captain puts a curse of some sort on her which involves spitting on her head and putting her in a chokehold. The show is back to what it does best which is infusing tropes of horror and other genres with the real life terrors that people of color have to experience, and I’m glad that things are finally starting to get back on track after the last few episodes felt like they losing focus.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with more explosive wrestling action, but this week isn’t just ANY episode of Dynamite! For a month now they’ve been advertising this show as the CHRIS JERICHO THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION to commemorate his three decades of butt kicking and smack talking in this business! Does this mean the bubbly will flow thru sprinklers? Will there be a song and dance number or an impromptu Fozzy concert!? We’ll we’re not going to find out by speculating about it, so let’s get started!!
The episode begins with a sincere out of kayfabe segment where the wrestlers of AEW explain just how important Chris Jericho was to them and to making this company what it is today. Of course they can’t show ninety percent of his career because despite wrestling outside of WWE quite a bit that footage STILL ended up in WWE’s hands, but it was still a nice little moment for the promotion! Jericho doesn’t come out to start the show however. Instead we get an unrelated but still pretty darn awesome match!
Brian Cage Vs. Will Hobbs – FTR Title Match
Taz and Ricky Starks are on commentary
Will Hobbs has been the talk of AEW for weeks now and our appetite for some WILL POWER has only grown more desperate as his big match was canceled due to Lance Archer getting sick. Fortunately Brian Cage is on hand to have a hell of a Big Man fight with this rising talent, and unsurprisingly the end result is a fantastic opening fight! Will definitely comes out of this looking strong as Cage doesn’t squash him right away (pour one out for Pineapple Pete), and both are VERY athletic while projecting so much power in everything they do. It’s almost like watching a Kaiju film on fast forward as all of their moves feel big and heavy, but they can still pull off an impressive amount of speed and dexterity when the need arises. It’s not too complicated of a match as far as the moves. Chops, body checks, suplexes, it’s all very standard and very well executed, but moments like when Cage does a Standing Moonsault or when Hobbs does a Jumping Shoulder Tackle punctuate the action and keeps it exciting all the way through. The only part where things felt a bit off was a moment where Hobbs and Cage seem to forget what they were supposed to do as they just stare at each other before Brian Cage jumps up and takes a Powerbomb from Hobbs. Other than that I found this match to be close to perfect in terms of what it’s trying to accomplish with the wrestlers they have to work with. Cage does something that I THINK was an F5 and only gets a two count, they start trading German Suplexes before giving each other simultaneous clotheslines that knock them flat on their backs, and as soon as they get up from all that they just start trading blows to try and annihilate the other; piece by piece. Hobbs’s fatal mistake in this match however comes after he lands his finisher, The Last Will and Testament, but only gets a two count. Instead of pressing the advantage that he has, he goes for something risky to try to put the match away quickly, namely a Frog Splash from the top rope, but Cage rolls out of the way with easy and with Hobbs on the ground he picks him up to land a Drill Claw for the win. Hobbs may be an exciting talent for the company, but his inexperience showed in that moment and Cage made him pay dearly for it! It was a very simple story with very straightforward action, but the two men did a PHENOMENAL job here and I loved every minute of it! It’s not just a revelation for Will Hobbs who looked amazing; Cage as well managed to look like more than just a big scary guy which is where he’s kind of been stuck at ever since his debut; a little bit above Wardlow, but not quite as compelling as Lance Archer. A great match that did a lot for both men; and really what more could you ask for?
Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
We’re back with even more Sonic goodness, and sadly I have not lived up to the principals of my one true idol. I have not in fact been “Going Fast” recently as I’m a good month behind on this book, though it is somewhat fitting that I’m taking a somewhat lackadaisical pace at reviewing these issues since the book itself is in something of a lull after completing the Zombot arc. Yeah, let’s pretend I meant to do it like this. ANYWAY! With Sonic in another dimension and peace having been restored to his home, what will our heroes do now that they have some well-earned vacation days on their hands? Let’s find out!!
Much like the last issue, this is mostly about reestablishing the status quo now that we’ve finally come to the end of the story arc, but where the last issue was a bit overstuffed with new conflicts this one manages to find the right balance between story progression and character building; starting off of course with Sonic who has found himself in the Sol Empire. It seems that the cool blue dude lost his memory after crashing into the ground at what should have been terminal velocity, and so Blaze has to sit here trying to get him to explain not just who he is but how IMPORTANT he is and why he needs to get his memory back sooner rather than later. What’s fascinating about this is that despite being told he’s essentially the woodland critter chosen one, he seems cagey and aloof in a way that clearly indicates how little he wants anything to do with whatever it is he’s expected to do now. It definitely goes with the character as he’s been established as the first few issues of this series were about him trying to avoid responsibility and being free to go wherever he wanted before the return of Eggman eventually made that impossible, and I’m curious just how far this amnesiac version of him will go to refuse a call to action.